I am recognizing that our culture is changing. We are moving from a modern culture [or have already moved] into a post-modern culture. And that means a whole lot of different things to different folks. So I am exploring what that means to me and to share links to friends and findings related to an emergent culture and to an emerging me. I created a new page called EMERGING ME. Primarily I am exploring this concept in relation to the emerging church, but I also want to recognize post-modernity in everyday life and in my American culture and the influences it has had on me and the world. And future trends.
Unfortunately all of what I wrote and what I read is so vague and mysterious and (gulp) subjective. I wish someone would just stand up and start pointing to all of the modern influences on my life and tell me what to change. But even that concept is a modern one. And it is how I got to where I am! I have been told what THE ONLY biblical way of looking at the world is. I have been given the picture of how God looks and how salvation works. And I was told not to deviate from the plan! I have been told what to do and what not to do. Alcohol is bad, period. And those that drink, well they are bad too, even my conservative, reformed brother in Christ. Heck he smokes a pipe and cigars too! And he likes Halloween! How can he be a Christian? How can he be saved? And he is a 5-point Calvinist! DON’T GET ME STARTED! The TRUTH is that Dan IS a fellow follower of Christ. He teaches me new things about what it means to be Christ-like all the time. He IS my brother in Christ.
It used to be that theology was organic, it changed, not the tenants, not the Orthodoxy, but what that looked like in culture and what it looked like in relation to the latest issues. It changed as it relates to politics, music, customs, etc. And then it was defined, outlined, proven and solidified. But guess what? Culture changed, politics changed, music changed, customs changed and people changed. God didn’t change, but our response to the Gospel and our relationship with Christ should always be changing. What it means to be saved from our sins changes and to be reconciled with God changes. Yes it does, YES it does! If nothing else it changes with our sins, it changes with our relationships! But it also changes with our culture and with the changes of life. Morphing, improving, growing, evolving. And sometimes that demands theology and religion to change too. God does not change. But we change. People change.
The way we learn has changed (scholastically and scientifically, the Internet and blogging). What we are learning has changed (microbiology, modern medicine, space). Transportation has changed drastically just over the past 100 years! Commerce changed. Technology changes drastically every few months. And ALL of the effects our relationship with God and others. No you say? When is the last time you wrote a letter? How about an email? IM? Big deal? When is the last time what you said in an email was misinterpreted? Letters used to be read differently than our casual emails. We have instant ways of written communication that can intentionally and unintentionally hurt our friends, families and others. And it can also build us up and encourage one another.
The reformation changed religion forever and for the better because the church needed to change. The Holiness movement changed religion in the US and in England (sigh…for the better-mostly).
Likewise, I believe that the emergent conversation that is going on in this country will change religion and the church forever. And believe me, the church needs to change. The church needs to help the poor again. The church needs to stand up for justice again. The church needs to help people again (even gay people). The church needs to be Christ again. The church needs to stand for peace and reconciliation again.
I AM CHANGING. I WILL CONTINUE TO CHANGE. Even if it hurts. Even if it is hard. Even if the costs are high. Even if I don’t want to. But today I do want to change, I want to be a better person.